The Sky at Night Season 2018

Season 2018

The Sky at Night Season 2018

First Air Date: January 14, 2018

First Aired on    :   2018
Episodes    :   11 episodes



Episodes

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2018x11 The Flying Telescope (December 09, 2018)


Chris Lintott visits an observatory aboard a jumbo jet, which carries an infra-red telescope able to observe space from the vantage point of 40,000 feet above sea level. Plus, a look at how planets form and why fewer newly formed stars are being recorded.


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2018x10 First Rock from the Sun (November 18, 2018)


A report on BepiColombo, a spacecraft sent on a seven-year journey to the heart of the solar system to study Mercury. The objective is to discover why the smallest planet in the solar system seems to be shrinking even further, how it survives orbiting so close to the sun, and how it was formed in the first place.


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2018x09 Space Britannia (October 14, 2018)


The future of Britain's space programme, examining plans for the first UK spaceport in Scotland and the development of a new rocket system. The programme also examines a revolutionary new form of micro-satellites, and the plans to potentially launch thousands of them worldwide. Plus, Tim Peake takes a look at the history of British space exploration.


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2018x08 Expedition Asteroid (September 09, 2018)


A look at two missions attempting one of the most difficult feats of space exploration - to collect a rock from another world. This episode checks in on the US and Japanese attempts to bring a piece of an asteroid back to Earth. The missions have taken decades of planning, but the results will be worth it. We find out how studying these space rocks can teach us about the origins of our solar system and may one day help save Earth from a catastrophic collision.


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2018x07 Death Star (August 12, 2018)


One evening in early September 1859, a spectacular blood-red aurora borealis appeared across America. Earlier that same day, in a leafy garden in the UK, a gentleman astronomer had noted a 'white light flare' on the sun's surface. The two events were linked; it's now known that the flare caused the aurora. The flare was a particularly violent eruption from the sun's surface known as a CME, a coronal mass ejection. Back then, it was considered an astronomical curiosity. But when it happens again, it will be a different story. For the modern, technological world such a violent solar phenomenon could be devastating. This episode examines just how damaging a CME could be and how astronomers, using two new satellites that will travel closer to the sun than ever before, can better prepare us for its impact.


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2018x06 Outback Astronomy (July 08, 2018)


Chris Lintott travels to the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Australia to find out how astronomers detected signals from the oldest stars in existence and what this discovery can reveal about the formation of the universe. In February 2018, news broke that astronomers had seen the cosmic dawn - the moment when stars first formed, flooding the universe with light. What's remarkable is that this incredible event was discovered by an instrument the size of a ping-pong table in a remote corner of Western Australia.


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2018x05 Jupiter: Up Close and Personal (June 10, 2018)


Nasa's Juno spacecraft is currently making its 13th orbit of Jupiter on one of the most ambitious and risky space missions ever undertaken. The astonishing images it has captured are not just visually stunning, they also deliver spectacular scientific insight, revolutionising our ideas about Jupiter. Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores these stunning discoveries, from a new understanding of Jupiter's core and formation to revelations about how deep its raging storms penetrate the planet's mysterious interior.


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2018x04 Gaia: A Galactic Revolution (May 13, 2018)


Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott examine the new information about the Milky Way recorded by the ESA's Gaia space telescope over the past three and a half years, including new data on how stars move over time and how the galaxy was originally formed.


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2018x03 Mars: Red and Dead? (April 08, 2018)


Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock reveal the latest results from NASA's Curiosity and ESA's ExoMars TGO missions that are attempting to find signs of life on Mars. Andy Weir, author of The Martian, shares his thoughts on the possibility of a manned mission.


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2018x02 The Mystery of 'Oumuamua (February 11, 2018)


The team investigates an astronomical detective story. In October 2017, astronomers spotted the first ever object to visit our solar system from outer space. They called it 'Oumuamua. Its discovery set off a hurricane of press speculation and a major scientific investigation. The Sky at Night goes to Queen's University in Belfast, which has become the centre of scientific research on this cosmic visitor. When they first spotted it, all scientists knew was that it was small, it was travelling fast, and it came from outside our solar system. What did it look like? How had it formed? What was it made of? Where had it come from? To answer these questions, the team pieces together all the clues that scientists have extracted from the small amounts of data collected as 'Oumuamua flashed through the solar system.


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2018x01 The Invisible Universe (January 14, 2018)


The team reports on unnerving discoveries in the field of space science. Researchers estimate that 95 per cent of everything in the universe is "invisible", and while some of this number is made up of matter that just cannot be easily seen, the rest is thought to be comprised of nebulous concepts such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The team illustrates - as best they can - how the existence of these two hypothetical ideas - or lack thereof - could define the fate of the entire universe.